With so much being written in main stream media and discussions on social media on cancer treatment in PNG, I think the PNG public need to be informed and be made aware.
Cancer comes in many forms!
There are tissue cancers – mouth cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer etc. And there are blood cancers – the different leukemias, lymphomas etc. Screening, diagnosis and treatment therefore is not the same. One form of treatment therefore does not apply to all types of cancers.
Cancer generally has no cure!
Even in the best of centers in the World, late cancer when diagnosed has no cure. Patients may survive for 5 years or more on treatment but eventually they all lose the battle. That is the first thing PNG public need to know. This fact is hard to swallow but that is a fact based on current treatment modalities and research evidence available.
PNG has no cancer treatment equipment or drugs!
Forget the Lae Cancer treatment centre. Equipment is outdated. Need to be changed. Chemotherapy drugs are used in combinations, like a cocktail. The ones we are using are not the best and most times one or two drugs are always out of stock.
PNG has very limited cancer specialists!
This is public domain knowledge. Humans operate machines, machines don’t work by themselves.
Surgeons can not cure cancer on their own! Cancer treatment requires team of specialists in different aspects of cancer treatment.
PNG public have been led to believe that surgeons will cure you of cancer. Once operated upon and cancer removed, you are cured. FALSE! Don’t be fooled to believe that surgery is the way. It is not. Surgeons also need to advocate this fact and call for capacity building.
Screening is the key in preventing deaths. Early detection saves lives!
This is a proven medical fact backed up by medical evidence. Early detection saves lives! Screening is the key.
Public health interventions prevents most cancers long term!
Public health interventions such as life style changes, cancer hazards identification at work place (occupational health interventions) and appropriate laws to ensure industries in PNG conform to laws preventing the public from being exposed to cancer causing agents will reduce cancer numbers in the long term.